Dwight Dudley Voted to Speed Up Executions in Florida

The Florida legislature just passed the so-called “Timely Justice Act.” The bill promises to radically change the death penalty process by forcing an automatic timetable into the process of determining which prisoner sitting on death row should be executed next. The power to issue the execution warrants is no longer left up to the governor.

Among other things, the act would require the Florida governor to sign a death warrant within 30 days of a Supreme Court review. It also requires execution of the punishment of death to be carried out within 180 days thereafter.

Do we need help in that area? Gov. Rick Scott has been accelerating the pace of signing death warrants in Florida. He recently lined up three executions to take place within a 6 week period.

This legislation speeds up the process and automates it under an arbitrary timeline that bears no relationship to the facts of the case or the requirements of justice.

Florida is also the state most likely to send an innocent person to death row. Since the mid-70s, Florida has exonerated 24 twenty four people who were sitting on death row. Twenty four human beings scheduled to die. That number is higher in Florida than any other state.

Why would anyone want to speed the process up - especially in Florida? Is the plan to speed up the executions so that the wrongfully accused are actually dead before they can be exonerated?

The real shocker is that Dwight Dudley, a practicing criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County, voted Yes to House Bill 7083 on April 25, 2013. Dwight Dudley was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, District 68, in 2012.

This vote comes as a surprise to a few criminal defense attorneys who expected a little more from Dwight Dudley. Attorney Haydee Oropesa was nice enough to explain that twist in the story to me today while we were sitting in court waiting for our cases to be called. She actually had to pull the vote up on her cell phone to show me the green "Yes" next to the name "Dudley" because I couldn't believe it.

If you don't believe me - you can see it here - http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/floorvote.aspx?VoteId=14084&BillId=50802&&

The "Timely Justice Act" was presented to Governor Rick Scott on June 3, 2013. He has until the end of the month to either sign it into law or veto the legislation.  Click here to read all 66 pages of CS/CS/HB 7083 -SJ 680.   

1 comment:

Haydee Oropesa said...

Again you prove yourself to be an ardent criminal defense attorney diligent in your pursuit of protecting the constitutional rights of all and continually being on the cutting edge of criminal law. Thanks for blogging about this recent legislative development after I expressed to you what a great idea it would be for you to blog about it while we discussed it yesterday in court. Again kudos to you for keeping Floridians and the defense bar in the loop and for continuing to fight the good fight in the area of criminal defense.

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